CHIPLEY – Washington County Board of County Commissioners gave approval to move ahead with negotiations on the $1.9 million in funds requested for the 79 Corridor project when they met in special session January 17.

The Department of Economic Opportunity requests negotiations prior to award to learn how the funds will be spent and the timeline in which they would be used, should they be awarded.

The application for the funds was submitted last summer to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Enterprise Florida seeking part of the $85 million in Florida Job Growth monies.

Washington County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Everett, Commission Chair Tray Hawkins, and a member from Holmes County Board of County Commissioners and Bonifay City Council will comprise the negotiations team.

Immediately following the special session, a workshop was held by the County Commission.

Chief among topics during the workshop was which roads the county will  submit for Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) and County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP) from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The board is expected to make a final decision next week at the regular session meeting. Applications are due in by March 15.

Washington County Library System Director Renae Rountree brought the commission back the numbers requested after having the Sunny Hills Library branch open five days a week for 3 months. The commission has requested Rountree crunch some more numbers  and present them at next week’s regular session before making any final decisions on the status of the library. The numbers will come from data over the last three months of the 36 hour a week schedule and numbers from libraries comparable in size and hours. The Sunny Hills MSBU budget allows for funds to go towards assisting in maintaining the library. Should it prove necessary the MSBU will assist in funds to maintain the library being open.

A Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Wausau for a community staging area will be on the consent agenda. The Possum Palace would be used  during an emergency situation due to its proximity to the Emergency Operations Center.

Washington County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 9 a.m. on January 25.